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Friends of the Earth statement on the nominations for Secretary of Energy and EPA Administrator

Posted Mar. 4, 2013 / Posted by: Lisa Matthes

Washington, D.C. -- Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica provided the following statement on the nominations of Ernest J. Moniz as Secretary of Energy and Gina McCarthy as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

On Ernest J. Moniz:

"Friends of the Earth has grave concerns about Mr. Moniz’s history of support for both nuclear power and fracking. It is frightening that Mr. Moniz responded to the unfolding catastrophe wrought by the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at Fukushima by suggesting that: “Nuclear power’s track record of providing clean and reliable electricity compares favorably with other energy sources.”* Similarly, Mr. Moniz’s support for small modular nuclear reactors and the interim consolidation of spent nuclear fuel seem questionable when we have more economic and environmentally safe alternatives available. Mr. Moniz has also been a big booster of fracking -- seemingly without due regard for the environmental and public health risks and impacts.

"We are hopeful that as this nomination is debated in the coming weeks, and as Mr. Moniz has opportunities to expound on his priorities if he were selected for the position, that the focus will be on cleaning up the disastrous mess at our DOE nuclear weapons facilities. We also hope that he will assure that the nation’s energy future is secured on the basis of developing clean, 21st century renewable energy and efficiency technologies and not on continued reliance on fossil fuel and nuclear technologies of the last century, which will only exacerbate climate change and open the door to potential nuclear disasters like that at Fukushima."

On Gina McCarthy:

"Ms. McCarthy has been an important and stalwart supporter of outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s leadership team. Much of the good work done by the EPA in the Obama administration’s first term involved Ms. McCarthy. We look forward to working with her to assure that even more is done to fight climate change, ensure environmental justice considerations are at the core of EPA’s policy agenda and protect the environment against the disasters produced by the development and use of fossil fuels. As important as it is to select a good EPA Administrator, it is imperative that President Obama stops hindering the EPA’s efforts to support regulations of polluting industries and that the White House empowers the EPA to tackle the overwhelming environmental issue of our time: climate change."

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Contact:
Erich Pica, in California: epica@foe.org, 240-432-3470
Damon Moglen: dmoglen@foe.org, 202-352-4223

*"Why We Still Need Nuclear Power,” Ernest Moniz, Foreign Affairs, Nov/Dec 2011, p. 84.

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